What the State Doesn't Want You to Know About Your Case
- You have the right to have your case heard by a jury. Under Tennessee law, you have the right to a jury trial in any DUI case. That fact alone can change the balance of power in certain DUI cases. The average prosecutor can easily handle over 50 cases per day when the Judge is the trier of fact and law. On the other hand, jury trials take a full day or more of court and only one case can be heard at a time. They are simply too many DUI cases to spend that much time. If every criminal defendant demanded a jury trial, the court system would shut down. Aside from these advantages, a jury must convict the accused unanimously. You only need one person to doubt your guilt and this does increase your chances of success. In a bench trial, the prosecutor has to only convince the Judge of guilt. In some counties, this is not very hard to do.
- Breath testing equipment is not perfect. In our high-tech world, breath testing equipment is essentially the same technology that was used years ago. The machines use an assumption to calculate the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood based upon the amount of alcohol that is in a person’s deep lung air. This calculation is based upon a blood to breath ration of 2200 to 1 and this calculation assumes that everyone tested has the same lung capacity. Scientific studies have shown that this ratio can vary from between 1100 to 3200. If a person is at the lower end of 1100, the machine would give a reading that is twice as high as the rate should be. On the other end of the spectrum at 3200, the reading would be half as high as it should be. In any event, the machines are flawed in principle design and readings can vary from the actual blood alcohol content in a person’s body.
- The police officer will have problems remembering the details of your arrest. Over time, the facts of DUI cases tend to blend into one another. Most likely the arresting officer will have difficulty remembering all the details of your arrest by the time of your court date. The average DUI officer makes over one hundred drunk driving arrests per year as well a myriad of other criminal offenses. Most DUI arrests are similar. The arresting officer will stop the motorist for a traffic infraction, administer field sobriety tests, and place the DUI accused under arrest. The chain of events will happen over and over again, year after year. It is virtually impossible to keep all of these cases straight. Use this to your advantage.
- The field tests were not actually conducted “by the book.” There actually is a book of procedures published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association and these are available to the public. Each police officer in Tennessee is trained to administer these field sobriety tasks in accordance with NHTSA’s standards. However, it is not uncommon for police officers to not follow the “book” when administering field sobriety tests. These tests are most accurate when they are administered correctly. Despite proper training, officers do make mistakes and a skilled DUI defense attorney can actually use these mistakes to your advantage.
- There must be a valid reason for the traffic stop. In order to survive a Constitutional challenge, the arresting officer must have a valid reason to pull over your vehicle in the first place. In order to stop a motorist and invade their privacy, the law requires that the officer must first establish what is known as probable cause. Probable cause is reasonable and articulable suspicion that either a traffic infraction or crime has occurred. In short, it requires that the officer must be able to explain the legal reasons for the traffic stop. Some drunken driving traffic stops are made without proper legal justification. If the Court rules that the stop was unjustified, then all evidence obtained as a result of the traffic stop cannot be used at trial. This is the single most effective way of having DUI case dismissed.
- There many cases on the docket and they must be settled. Your case is not the only case that is going to be on the docket that day and the prosecutor usually does not have their radar focused on you unless you give them a reason. In fact, the prosecutor has many cases on the docket and most must be resolved. On the other hand, you have the advantage of hiring a private DUI attorney. Most successful DUI lawyers only accept a limited number of cases to handle each month. This gives you the advantage of having focused and dedicated representation. The prosecutor must handle all cases whether they have time to prosecute them thoroughly or not.
I help good people restore their lives
-Lee Martin is a Nashville criminal defense lawyer who has gained national recognition as a DUI and criminal defense attorney. With over a decade of experience, he knows how to get results in DUI cases. If you are seeking an experienced DUI defense attorney, use his experiences to your advantage. If you need help with a pending DUI charge, give him a call at 615-345-1988.
National Trial Lawyers Top 100 in the areas of DUI and criminal defense.